Daily | Michael Snow, Anniversaries, #Ebertchat


The April 2014 issue

Michael Snow‘s 1998 photograph In Medias Res, which the artist talks about in one of the videos below, is featured on the cover of the new issue of Artforum. The occasion is an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art now on view through April 27—and J. Hoberman‘s review:

A humble, relentless, more or less continuous zoom shot taking forty-five minutes to traverse a Canal Street loft into a photograph pasted on the far wall, Michael Snow’s Wavelength (1967) provided twentieth-century cinema with a definitive metaphor for itself as temporal projection—and also burdened Snow with an unrepeatable masterpiece.

That the artist has a reputation as a painter, a sculptor, a musician, a video maker, and, mainly, a filmmaker gives Michael Snow: Photo-Centric a polemical thrust. At the very least, this highly concentrated exhibition supports the Bazinian assertion that modern art is essentially a reaction to photography (“manifestly the most important event in the history of the visual arts”). More specifically, the show suggests that Snow’s own strategies, regardless of medium, have been determined by his understanding of the photographic process.


The Matrix has just turned 15. “And the damn thing still holds up,” writes Bilge Ebiri at Vulture. “Even now, after its dire sequels and its mostly blah imitators, The Matrix is a singular cinematic experience. It’s a mystery in which the object of pursuit is not a priceless antique or the solution to a murder but the human condition. It skips genres with the kind of ease with which its characters leap across buildings. Its heroes turn the hard noir angles of this world into liquid ripples of possibility. Chiaroscuro lighting gives way to blank white fields, cold green clutter and chaos to warm, clear-eyed symmetry. The movie hacks itself.”

I’ve mentioned Heathers, which turns 25 this year, in the past couple of Daily entries, and now Variety‘s Gordon Cox reports that screenwriter Daniel Waters has revealed three “alternate endings written, at one time or another, during the development of the film.”

Ryan Lattanzio at Thompson on Hollywood: “Ten years after premiering at the Venice Film Festival in 2004, Jonathan Glazer’s Birth remains as powerfully mysterious as ever.”


At Criticwire, Sam Adams talks with Tom Elrod, founder of The Critical Press, about his plans for this new publisher of short and accessible books of film criticism.

I’ve only just now caught up, via his latest entry at Some Came Running, with the first part of Glenn Kenny‘s piece at Thought Catalog on the days he spent working as a production assistant on the porn film A Girl’s Best Friend (1981). At one point in the very entertaining tale, he ends up lunching with Ron Jeremy, who “pushed his plate toward me; there was about a third of his burger left. ‘You wanna finish this? I gotta go bang two blondes in the next scene, I don’t wanna get too bloated.'” is running an excerpt from Adam Nayman‘s It Doesn’t Suck: Showgirls.

For Slow Travel Berlin, Brendan Nash takes a look at Marlene Dietrich‘s early years in the city.


Tomorrow at 6pm Eastern time, Kevin B. Lee will be hosting a live one-hour conversation about the legacy of Roger Ebert. You can join in by following the #Ebertchat hashtag on Twitter.

New York Times film critic A.O. Scott has written a piece about gentrification in Brooklyn, but Spike Lee seems to think it’s about Spike Lee. Joe Coscarelli has details at Vulture.


Pen-ek Ratanaruang is reuniting with his Headshot producer Raymond Phathanavirangoon on drama Samui Song, set to star Chermarn ‘Ploy’ Boonyasak,” reports Liz Shackleton for Screen Daily. “Chermarn will play an actress who is worried by her foreign husband’s growing obsession with a cult-like religious sect and its charasmatic leader, the Holy One…. ‘Using Hitchcock as a starting point, it services as an homage to the kinds of movies I enjoy from Bollywood and Shinya Tsukamoto to Luis Buñuel and Thai cinema from the 1960s,’ Pen-ek said.”

Sion Sono “will make a return in 2015 with Shinjuku Swan, a live-action adaptation of Wakui Ken’s popular Kabukichō-set adult manga,” reports Patryk Czekaj at Twitch.

“Chatting with Collider, [Kevin] Costner revealed he’s kicking around an idea for Western quadrilogy, with three of the movies coming out in the same year on major holidays, with a fourth to follow afterward,” notes the Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth. “Take that Marvel!”

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